Pakistan captain Babar Azam played a slow and steady knock at the Narendra Modi Stadium by scoring 50 runs off 58 balls with an 86.20 strike rate and 7 boundaries. He managed to play a crucial knock for the team, previously his record against the Indian side was not that impressive. He enjoys an average of 31.14 against India and has scored 218 runs in 7 innings so far.
Babar Azam attributed his team’s disappointing performance in the highly anticipated ICC ODI World Cup 2023 match against India to their batting collapse. He also commended India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, for his outstanding performance with the bat, as India secured a comfortable 7-wicket victory in Ahmedabad on Saturday after bowling out Babar Azam and his team for a mere 191 runs.
Babar Azam exclusively remarked: “We started well. We just planned to play normal cricket and build partnerships. Suddenly, there was a collapse, and we could not finish well. The way we started, our target was 280-290, but the collapse cost us. The total was not good.”
“We are not up to the mark with the new ball” – Babar Azam
The Green Shirts had a promising start, reaching 155 for 2 until the 30th over, but then they lost their remaining eight wickets for just 36 runs. Babar Azam acknowledged Rohit’s splendid innings and expressed concerns about Pakistan’s performance with the new ball, saying, “We are not up to the mark with the new ball. Rohit played an outstanding innings. We tried to take wickets, but it didn’t work out,” as he concluded his statement.
Rohit’s decision to choose to bowl first after winning the toss may have raised some eyebrows, but the Indian team always maintained control of the game, despite an 82-run third-wicket partnership between skipper Babar Azam (50 runs off 58 balls) and Mohammed Rizwan (49 runs off 69 balls). The turning point came when Siraj managed to make the ball move slightly from a shorter length, causing Babar Azam to misjudge the delivery, leading to his dismissal.
Rizwan, on the verge of his half-century, faced a tricky seam slow off-cutter from Bumrah, which penetrated the gap between his bat and pad, marking the end of Pakistan’s resistance at that moment. Babar and Rizwan’s partnership, while commendable, was insufficient in the context of the changing landscape of ODI cricket.